Ready To Retire?

Jen Hawkins O'Hanlon, REALTOR®


Planning to Retire? It Could Be Time To Make a Move.

If you’re thinking about retirement or have already retired this year, you may be planning your next steps. One of your goals could be selling your house on Martha's Vineyard and finding a home that more closely fits your needs. Fortunately, you may be in a better position to make a move than you realize. Here are a few things to think about when making that decision.

Consider How Long You’ve Been in Your Home

From 1985 to 2008, the average length of time homeowners typically stayed in their homes was only six years. But according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that number is rising today, meaning many homeowners are living in their houses even longer (see graph below):

Planning to Retire? It Could Be Time To Make a Move. | Simplifying The Market

When you live in a home for a significant period of time, it’s natural for you to experience a number of changes in your life while you’re in that house. As those life changes and milestones happen, your needs may change. And if your current home no longer meets them, you may have better options waiting for you.

Consider the Equity You’ve Gained

Additionally, if you’ve been in your home for more than a few years, you’ve likely built up significant equity that can fuel your next move. That’s because the longer you’ve been in your home, the more likely it’s grown in value due to home price appreciation. And on Martha's Vineyard, we have not seen home prices go down since the huge appreciation we saw during the pandemic. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) illustrates that point (see graph below):

Planning to Retire? It Could Be Time To Make a Move. | Simplifying The Market

While home price growth varies by state and local area, the national average shows the typical homeowner who’s been in their house for five years saw it increase in value by over 50%. And the average homeowner who’s owned their home for 30 years saw it almost triple in value over that time.

Consider Your Retirement Goals

Ultimately, there is quite a bit to think about when considering making a move off the Island. 

Owning a home on Martha's Vineyard for a long time can have several benefits, including:

Building Equity: When you own a home for a long time, you build equity, which is the difference between the current market value of your property and the amount you owe on your mortgage. This equity can be used to finance other expenses, such as home renovations or education expenses.

Stable Housing Costs: Owning a home for a long time can provide stability in housing costs, as you may have already paid off your mortgage, and property taxes and insurance may be more predictable than rental prices.

Emotional Attachment: Owning a home on Martha's Vineyard for a long time can create an emotional attachment to the property and the community. This sense of attachment can be particularly strong on an island like Martha's Vineyard, which has a unique culture and way of life.

However, retiring to somewhere off Island can also have several benefits, including:

Lower Cost of Living: Depending on where you retire, you may be able to find a lower cost of living, which can allow you to stretch your retirement savings further.

Access to Healthcare: Depending on your health needs, retiring to a location with better access to healthcare facilities and services may be beneficial.

New Experiences: Retiring to a new location can provide new experiences and opportunities for adventure, which can be beneficial for mental health and overall wellbeing.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to keep a home on Martha's Vineyard or retire to a new location will depend on individual circumstances and preferences.

If you are ready to really downsize and considering assisted living in Massachusetts, this web site is a great resource. Think assisted living is only for those ready for a nursing home? Think again! Times have changed and there are some amazing places that offer beautiful grounds and many services, while still allowing you to come and go as you please. Interested in learning more about just what Assisted Living options are? Click here for more information. 

Whether you’re looking to downsize, relocate to a dream destination, or move so you live closer to loved ones, that equity can help you achieve your homeownership goals. NAR shares that for recent home sellers, the primary reason to move was to be closer to loved ones. Plus, retirement played a large role for those moving greater distances. Whatever your home goals are, a trusted real estate advisor can work with you to find the best option. They’ll help you sell your current house and guide you as you buy the home that’s right for you and your lifestyle today.

Bottom Line

Retirement can bring about major changes in your life, including what you need from your home. Let’s connect to explore the value of your Martha's Vineyard home. We can also refer you to fabulous Compass agents across the country to assist with finding the perfect home in another wonderful community.


As a team, we work in harmony for the benefit of our clients. We handle multiple transactions at once and are able to execute a complex marketing strategy by leveraging team resources. We can be in several physical locations at once to ensure showings are always possible for our buyers and sellers. Our clients benefit from the combined experience of our agents and administrative staff.

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